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The Atlanta Snowpocalypse may have shown up in your comedy news feed, but if you lived there, it was quite another story.
This post is completely unrelated to the house… except that I’m basically stuck in it for a couple of days :)
As you’re probably aware, us Atlantans haven’t been having a great week. We knew the snow was coming for the southeast, and we knew that the roads aren’t prepared for it (if I remember correctly, the city has around 30 sand trucks total). Yet we chose to still go work and school when we should have canceled. It’s fun to make fun of how the city freaks out at the mere threat of snow, but this time around, we didn’t close things down like we normally do before the snow hit. We did it once we saw the snow, as if people can’t determine weather before the white flakes start falling. Schools released kids early; offices closed; and the entire city became a parking lot before 2pm on Tuesday thanks to the unexpected traffic.
I sent out this photo on Instagram just as the snow began to fall, and work released me to head home. Plenty of laughs to be had.
I took another at the sight of the first full dusting on the roads. When you don’t live in an area that gets snow, it’s almost compulsive to photograph it! Hey! Look at the weird white stuff!
I got home just fine, and was completely oblivious to people being stuck on the roads. I didn’t really see much traffic, which in hindsight, just means I got lucky. Charlie had her first discovery of snow, which was relatively uneventful; she was really cautious until she realized that she could still run around (her normal leash was frozen, so I couldn’t just let her in the backyard like usual). She ran around for over an hour and had zero success photographing or videoing it. I watched her from the warm spot in front of the sliding door in the kitchen (and doesn’t my front yard look sad in the snow? Guess I need to get to some outdoor projects in the spring).
Around 8pm, I started getting texts from everyone, including my boss, asking me if I’d gotten home safely. Um, yeah, it’s just a little snow! It was still falling, but I was fine. Then I realized my mom was stranded with several other motorists & wasn’t able to get home. People were abandoning cars. It took Dad nearly 7 hours to get home from his office (which is just a few exits down from my office). My sister and her husband were in Washington, D.C. this week, so they were fine (though couldn’t fly home, of course).
Since I have the ability to work from home when needed, I basically continued on as I normally do; just took my laptop home. And since my personal story is somewhat uneventful, I wanted to still share a few things that I think are awesome:
- School kids were released, but their parents couldn’t get to them. And their teachers came to the rescue with food, shelter, and entertainment for worried, tired students.
- A Facebook group called Snowed Out Atlanta became a means for people who weren’t stranded to offer help to those who were. This includes preparing sandwiches, walking along the packed streets, delivering gas, and taking 4WD vehicles to rescue stranded folks all over the city. Without asking for a single bit in return.
- People were stuck in their cars for the entire day. I don’t know about you, but I would have been digging under my car seats for abandoned cough drops by hour two. Chick-fil-A employees walked up and down the crowded intersections, handing out hundreds of free sandwiches for anyone they could get to.
- People were forced to sleep in the aisles of Home Depot, CVS, and Publix. But these stores happily opened their doors to provide shelter to those in need of it. My mom was one of the stranded folks who found herself at a Racetrac gas station; they gave her free coffee and a place to sleep if needed (thankfully, she made it home by 10pm that night).
In short: yeah, it sucked, but there were some pretty awesome things that happened too. I can’t help but be thankful for the people who came together and aided others. Complete badasses who were selfless and kind-hearted.
I’m choosing to work from home for another day to give the roads a chance to clear, which should be fine by this afternoon. Until then, I’m just going to hole up in the house and raid the fridge (and make pancakes for dinner). For those of you in other areas, stay safe and warm!